Menopause: The ‘most effective’ treatment for hot flushes – benefits of HRT

This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms

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The British Menopause Society noted that the most common onset of moderate to severe hot flushes were between the ages of 45 to 49; described as a “sudden feeling of warmth” by experts at the Mayo Clinic, where does it appear? Hot flushes tend to occur across the face, neck, and chest; for some women, the skin may redden, as if blushing. The menopausal symptom can also lead to sweating and a chill soon afterwards.

When hot flashes occur at night, the symptom is classified as a night sweat.

“In fact, hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopausal transition,” the experts added.

Signs of a hot flush

  • A sudden feeling of warmth spreading through your chest, neck and face
  • A flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Perspiration, mostly on your upper body
  • A chilled feeling as the hot flash lets up
  • Feelings of anxiety.

The frequency and intensity of hot flushes vary among women; some incidents can last for a couple of minutes while others can continue for much longer.

Hot flushes can appear multiple times throughout the day, which can interrupt everyday activities.

As such, what is one of the “most effective” treatments for hot flushes?

“The most effective way to relieve the discomfort of hot flashes is to take oestrogen,” the experts noted.

Oestrogen is an example of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but oestrogen alone will only be given to women who have had a hysterectomy.

Women who have a uterus will be given oestrogen alongside progesterone for HRT.

The NHS added that HRT can help to alleviate other menopausal symptoms, in addition to hot flushes.

HRT can help alleviate night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and a reduced sex drive.

“Many of these symptoms pass after a few years, but they can be unpleasant and taking HRT can offer relief for many women,” the NHS added.

While some types of HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer, the benefits of the treatment tend to outweigh the risks.

“Speak to a GP if you’re interested in starting HRT,” the NHS noted.

“You can usually begin HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms and will not usually need to have any tests first.”

There are different types of HRT available, which your doctor will be able to tell you about.

In the beginning, you are likely to be offered a low dose of HRT, but it may take several weeks until you feel the benefits of treatment.

Your doctor is likely to suggest that you try the treatment for three months to see if it works for you.

If, after three months, you feel like the HRT is not effective, either the dose will be adjusted or another form of HRT might be offered.

“There’s no limit on how long you can take HRT, but talk to a GP about how long they recommend you take the treatment,” the NHS added.

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